Honors Course Agreement

Honors Course Agreement

Honors Course Agreements allow a student to take a non-Honors course for Honors course credit by enhancing the experience with components to provide additional rigor and more depth of study. The Honors process requires, with the approval and oversight from the faculty of record for the course, a student submit a proposal outlining these additional components and articulating how that additional work make the course Honors-worthy and relevant to the student's interests and/or course of study. The Course Agreement process is designed for a student to earn Honors credit in a course that is not already listed as an Honors course. An Honors Course Agreement is a method of adding an Honors component to a course and is generally used when a student wishes to study a topic more in-depth for which no Honors section is offered.

Message to UK Faculty: An Honors College Course Agreement requires careful planning between student and professor, collaboration throughout the semester as needed, and a commitment from both parties to follow through with the Honors credit process. For faculty who have questions about this process, please contact the Lewis Honors College at 859-257-3111 to speak with an Honors advisorWe appreciate your willingness to assist Honors students in earning Honors credit for your course, and we hope that your participation in this process is rewarding for both you and the student.

Proposing an Honors Supplement for a Course Agreement

Eligible Students: Second, third and fourth year Honors students are welcome to seek approval for an Honors Course Agreement. First-year Honors students are typically not approved for an Honors Course Agreement, except by special permission of the Director of Academic Affairs.

Eligible Courses: The Course Agreement process may be used to convert any 200-level or above regular course, including Education Abroad courses.

Course Content: Honors courses are designed to follow more rigorous standards than general courses. The proposed additional coursework should be focused on intellectual and academic complexity. The activities, assignments or projects should be more challenging, include more advanced readings, or foster a deeper exploration and understanding of the general course content

Examples of additional Course Agreement content include:

  • researching/writing an additional scholarly paper
  • additional lab work or an enhanced project with accompanying readings and discussion
  • completing an additional set of challenging problems or laboratory experiments
  • participation in additional service activities or field experience with accompanying report/analysis
  • attendance in outside of classroom enrichment activities or special events with accompanying analysis

Workload: The additional workload for a typical Course Agreement should amount to approximately 15-20 additional hours.

Meetings: To ensure the course agreement process is followed adequately, two or three 1-on-1 meetings between professor and student are strongly recommended.

Group Agreements: At their discretion, a professor may oversee a group of Honors students enrolled in the same course and allow them to propose an agreement for a course as a group. This can be accomplished by having students follow the same set of additional requirements wherein the faculty member oversees separate individual requirements for each student. Approval for Group Agreements can be done using one single approval form if the students follow the same set of additional requirements. For Group Agreements in which students are completing different requirements separate proposals and forms for each student are required. Group Agreements must be submitted all at once directly to the Director of Academic Affairs.

Eligibility to Supervise a Course Agreement: Lecturers, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors may approve and oversee a Course Agreement. Graduate Students or Teaching Assistants may not directly oversee a Course Agreement. The Honors College welcomes a team-based approach to Course Agreements, therefore, at their discretion, the Faculty of Record is able to assign oversight of the Course Agreement to other faculty members.

Student Proposed Course Agreement

Deadlines: A Course Agreement Proposal must be submitted to the Honors College by the end of the second week for the Fall and Spring semester courses, and by the end of the 1st week for Summer and Winter Intersession courses. Students should make every effort to seek approval for a Course Agreement prior to the beginning of the semester. Submitting the signed Proposal by the appropriate deadline is not a guarantee of approval.

Steps for Obtaining Approval:

1. The student will submit a typed Honors College Course Agreement Proposal Form to the professor, detailing the additional work they would like to do beyond the regular course requirements.

2. If the professor approves, the student and professor complete and sign the Honors College Course Agreement Proposal form.

3. The contract is then submitted to the student’s Honors advisor (in person or via e-mail) by the appropriate deadline, along with the accompanying syllabus. Submitting the proposal by the appropriate deadline does not guarantee approval. 

4. A review of the proposal and contract is completed by the student's Honors Academic Advisor. The advisor will send an e-mail to the professor and student indicating approval, denial, or if additional information is needed prior to approval. NOTE: A student’s Honors academic advisor will only request to receive additional information once.

5. During finals week, the student’s Honors academic advisor will contact the professor to ensure the additional workload has been completed by the student.

6. Honors credit is awarded provided a grade of B or higher is earned in the course, and appropriate supplemental work is submitted to the Honors academic advisor by the last day of the term.

Faculty Proposed Course Agreement

For a group course agreement, the faculty member drafts a proposal for an Honors supplement (an additional project or enhancement) to an existing course. The nature of the supplement varies by what is appropriate for the class but should entail around 15-20 hours of effort and result in some sort of tangible deliverable. At the discretion of the faculty members may factor students' performance on the Honors supplement in grading, however faculty are not required to evaluate Honors supplements or include evaluation results in final grades.

Signed Faculty Proposed Course Agreement forms are due on the second Friday of the semester, along with a list of participating Honors students. A faculty member may also submit the form before registration opens in the prior semester (March 1 or October 1, respectively), such that the Honors supplement opportunity can be advertised to students before registration. Any changes to the proposed supplement following acceptance by Honors must be approved by the faculty member and Honors advisor on a case by case basis. At the close of the semester, students should submit their supplement to faculty and student's Honors advisor. Once the advisor verifies satisfactory completion of the Honors supplement and students' final grade of at least a "B", the course will be applied to the students' Honors degree audit. 

Faculty should contact Britt Frye with any questions

Questions: If you have any questions regarding the Course Agreement process please contact the Honors College at 859-257-3111 to speak with an Honors advisor.


Student Proposed Course Agreement: Students should complete the course agreement form in the Honors Canvas page. 

Faculty Proposed Course Agreement Form

Honors Course Agreement Guidelines